Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

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Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

It looks like a pinball delivery!
truck arrives.jpg
What could it be?
unloading.jpg
Last edited by tinyrodent on Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: New Arrival!

Post by tinyrodent »

Oooh, it's a 1981 Bally Fathom! And looks to be in pretty nice condition.
indoors.jpg
The game came with new "leg bolts" but they are too short, especially with cabinet protectors in place. I'm not a fan of the flat heads either, so this is the first upgrade. Fortunately I have a set of proper round head leg bolts in stock.
leg bolts.jpg
Installed on the front. The cabinet has been repainted, but there's no clearcoat, and it has a few dings and some wear already. It looks good from normal viewing distance though.
leg bolts front.jpg
Installed on the rear. Not a fan of the metal cabinet gliders either, may switch those out for nylon. But it's low priority.
leg bolts rear.jpg
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Re: Shop Log: New Arrival!

Post by cait001 »

that's it, getting in on this one early so I don't miss a single post
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Re: Shop Log: New Arrival!

Post by steamfitter »

Sweet find Brett
Last edited by steamfitter on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

With the legs on, next step is to attach the head. I dusted it off lightly with a clean dry cloth and got a lot of transfer. I will have to be very careful with this cabinet.
dust cloth.jpg
The backglass is removed for this operation. It appears to be an original in nice condition. With just a couple of small scratches it should present very well.
backglass rear.jpg
Head attached, a couple of problems. One missing hinge bolt, and 4 missing gliders.
head attached.jpg
If I'm going to put new gliders on the head, might as well do the bottom cabinet as well. The metal gliders remove easily.
metal gliders removed.jpg
I found an acceptable substitute for the missing hinge bolt in a bag of random stuff. New gliders installed.
new gliders.jpg
Without a backglass installed, the score displays and their foam surrounds tend to fall off in the resting position. They can probably be secured better without too much trouble.
head lift.jpg
Front of the head looks nice, very clean. Pinscore LED displays. No bulbs, wonder why?
head front.jpg
Inside looks pretty good too. New Alltek MPU and lamp boards - LED bulbs will be usable in controlled lamps.
head inside.jpg
This volume control hack is a bit ugly. But if it works ok, can probably live with it.
volume control hack.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

With backglass installed, the lift channel is revealed. Rusty parts like this really stand out on an otherwise shiny game. It will be a bit of a challenge to make it nice because of the risk of damaging the backglass.
lift channel rusty.jpg
Lockdown bar was rusty and dirty, with a rotten beer seal. It cleaned up pretty well. Beer seal replaced. I have to do this on almost every game that visits here.
beer seal.jpg
Playfield glass removed, first good look underneath. Brand new CPR playfield and apron, looks like it's never been played. There's a layer of dust on everything.
playfield.jpg
Viewed from certain angles, it's obvious how thin the clearcoat is. With visible wood grain, and settled inserts, I would expect this to wear very quickly if played. It will have to be protected.
clearcoat thin.jpg
Most of the playfield parts look new or in good condition. There are a few exceptions. Some gates are bent and/or scarred.
gate rough.jpg
The spinner and its frame definitely need some love. Bent, worn, missing nylon washer.
spinner rough.jpg
Purists are probably horrified by the pointy Williams-style flippers on a Bally game. I'll keep an open mind and see how they play when the time comes.
flipper bats.jpg
Underneath the brand new apron are dirty corroded parts, the trough will have to be completely torn down and rebuilt. It's probably the most important area to polish since the balls travel through there so frequently.
trough dirty.jpg
Last edited by tinyrodent on Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Taking a quick look under the playfield, it uses a type of pivot/hinge assembly which I haven't seen on a classic game before. Not sure whether this is original.
hinge left rear.jpg
These rear supports allow the playfield to be raised, to a point. But the playfield doesn't align with the prop rod, there is no service position.
hinge right rear.jpg
There is another set of supports towards the front of the cabinet. It looks like it should be possible to lift the entire playfield out of the rear supports, and place it on the front ones, in order to raise the playfield vertical and work on the underside. I made a weak attempt but the playfield is extremely heavy, need to think about the best way to manipulate it.
hinges front.jpg
Just looking quickly at the underside, it's obvious there is going to be a fair amount of work required. The bulb sockets look new, but the switches will all need attention, and some of the mechanical assemblies have to be rebuilt. This rusty slingshot mech has no place in a restored game.
slingshot rusty.jpg
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by redketchup »

the pivot for the playfeild is stock for that area of pin
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by Chnillapoil »

just curious, where does it come from ?
HIGH SPEED 1986
PIN*BOT 1986
TAXI 1988
:rifle OLD CHICAGO 1976
MAME MARIO BROS 1983
EIGHT BALL DELUXE LE 1982
FATHOM 1980
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

It's decided - the playfield will be sent out for clearcoating. I'm not even going to power up the machine, teardown begins immediately. Apron and most of the playfield plastics removed.
plastics removed.jpg
Even though the plastics are brand new, several of them are already scratched up. I wrapped them all carefully to await cleaning, polish, and reinstallation.
scratched plastic.jpg
Most of the playfield rubber is removed. It's all different shades of white, some dirty/damaged/garbage. A new set is on order.
rubber removed.jpg
The pop bumper caps look like new, but two of the bodies are broken and can't support the caps.
pop bumper bodies broken.jpg
All of the posts and screws with a philips head removed.
some posts removed.jpg
The drop targets don't look all that great. There is flash from manufacturing that should be trimmed at the very least. This one won't drop. No matter, the whole bank is going to be rebuilt.
drop targets.jpg
A frequently neglected area of restoration is the inside of the coin door. This game is no exception. It's not something I ever bothered to clean up before, but there is a first time for everything...
inside coin door.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Chnillapoil wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:01 pm
just curious, where does it come from ?
Fathom, Skateball, and Seawitch, all belong to Craig. He brings the games to me, I fix them up and play for a bit, then they go to his lineup.
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by cait001 »

tinyrodent wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:19 pm
Chnillapoil wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:01 pm
just curious, where does it come from ?
Fathom, Skateball, and Seawitch, all belong to Craig. He brings the games to me, I fix them up and play for a bit, then they go to his lineup.
I very much appreciate the effort you put into these and the money Craig puts into these! Thanks for sharing it all. (and that also means thanks to Craig who always shares his machines)
WANTED: 21 (1946 Duval), NSM Freispiel Sieg Super-Match, 1972 Bally Continental Bingo slot machine
backglasses wanted: Star-Jet, Fire Queen, Fairy, Out Of Sight
marquees wanted: Strider, Varkon, Dark Planet, R-Type (w/ship), Quantum, Ninja (Sega)
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by World_of_Warships »

Fantastic posts again! Need to go back to skateball to read how it ends!

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by World_of_Warships »

As much as I like the colors in skateball and how great it looks, the playfield design on Fathom is stunning!

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by HPR Pinball »

Great thread about Fathom!
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

cait001 wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:30 am
I very much appreciate the effort you put into these and the money Craig puts into these! Thanks for sharing it all. (and that also means thanks to Craig who always shares his machines)
World_of_Warships wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:04 pm
Fantastic posts again! Need to go back to skateball to read how it ends!
HPR Pinball wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:08 pm
Great thread about Fathom!
Thanks everyone! These comments help keep me motivated! :)

Outhole kicker is rusty, with a badly bent frame. It is placed on a connector to make things a little easier.
outhole kicker.jpg
Top side of playfield mostly stripped. There's a couple of items which can't be removed yet due to problems with t-nuts underneath.
top side mostly stripped.jpg
There are several mini posts of the wood screw variety. Badly mangled with pliers, corroded, crooked... I'm afraid to even take them out. I'll leave those and the wire guides for the clearcoat guy. ;)
evil wood screw mini posts.jpg
Hopefully there is room underneath to convert most or all of them to machine screw variety.
mini posts.jpeg
I heard this t-nut fall in the cabinet while removing a post. Unfortunately there are a bunch of bad ones.
t-nut fail.jpg
Here some nylon lined nuts were placed underneath to compensate, but with a wood screw?! Ugh.
t-nut double fail.jpg
Now with some of the weight removed, it's a little easier to move the playfield to the front pivots and raise it to the vertical position. First good look underneath:
playfield underside.jpg
It's fairly clean aside from some of the mechs. Nice new bulb sockets, but soldered messily to the stapled bare wire. It's going to be a pain in the neck to deal with those.
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Flipper assemblies removed. There wasn't much wire left in the harness for these, so I cut it right off and will add some longer leads with a connector later. Although these parts look all new, everything will be completely disassembled to make sure there are no surprises. I can already see a couple of cross-threaded machine screws. However, at least the coils test ok with an ohmmeter.
flipper assemblies.jpg
Pop bumper assemblies removed. For these and most of the remaining coils, I will just leave them attached to the wiring harness.
pop bumper assemblies.jpg
Only the pop bumper bodies appear to need replacement. The lamp sockets look to be usable, which is a good thing, because I haven't found any vendor that offers new ones.
pop bumper bodies.jpg
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

First set of drop target assemblies removed. These are the normal ones, without memory. The larger bank has two reset coils. Some parts clean, some parts rusty and dirty.
drop targets 1.jpg
Second set of drop target assemblies removed. These have memory targets, with a small coil to drop each one, in addition to the large coil for bank reset. These are the dirtiest mechs encountered on the playfield so far, not assembled properly, with bent and rusty parts, and a beast to work on.
drop targets 2.jpg
I'm a bit confused about the reset coils. There are three variations all labeled the same but wired differently. The first one has two diodes, with three lugs, and uses the outer ones.
reset coil 1.jpg
The second uses the middle lug. I'm not sure which (if either) is correct. It's not a dual winding like a flipper, so why does it need two diodes? And what is the correct wiring? The labels are crap, falling off, I will have to replace them all.
reset coil 2.jpg
The third doesn't even have a middle lug. I suspect this one is not labeled correctly. The original label has been removed. The manual calls for one of the banks to use an NO-26-1900 instead of NB-26-1900. It does not specify which one... why would it be different?
reset coil 3.jpg
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by World_of_Warships »

tinyrodent wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:48 am
First set of drop target assemblies removed. These are the normal ones, without memory. The larger bank has two reset coils. Some parts clean, some parts rusty and dirty.
drop targets 1.jpg
Second set of drop target assemblies removed. These have memory targets, with a small coil to drop each one, in addition to the large coil for bank reset. These are the dirtiest mechs encountered on the playfield so far, not assembled properly, with bent and rusty parts, and a beast to work on.
drop targets 2.jpg
I'm a bit confused about the reset coils. There are three variations all labeled the same but wired differently. The first one has two diodes, with three lugs, and uses the outer ones.
reset coil 1.jpg
The second uses the middle lug. I'm not sure which (if either) is correct. It's not a dual winding like a flipper, so why does it need two diodes? And what is the correct wiring? The labels are crap, falling off, I will have to replace them all.
reset coil 2.jpg
The third doesn't even have a middle lug. I suspect this one is not labeled correctly. The original label has been removed. The manual calls for one of the banks to use an NO-26-1900 instead of NB-26-1900. It does not specify which one... why would it be different?
reset coil 3.jpg
I found this Coil Resistance Chart
https://www.flippers.com/coil-resistance.html
Seems to provide lots of info on what those letters and numbers mean

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by Manu2 »

tinyrodent wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:15 am

Purists are probably horrified by the pointy Williams-style flippers on a Bally game. I'll keep an open mind and see how they play when the time comes.
You can't leave these bats ! :o The different paths and goals are designed for the rounded Bally bats.

You don't have the right coil for the slingshot : AR-26-1200 is for the knocker, and AO-26-1200 for the slingshot. But I don't know the difference.

I really don't understand those people who take time to put leds, but not to clean or change rusted plungers. :roll:

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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by Azatotht »

Manu2 wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:05 pm

I really don't understand those people who take time to put leds, but not to clean or change rusted plungers. :roll:
Because that's what buyers see ;)

Very cool thread !
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Most of the modular components have been removed. There are just a few smaller items like switch actuators.
components removed.jpg
Several of the switch stacks are falling apart.
switch falling apart.jpg
They are just taped up for now.
switch taped.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

Manu2 wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:05 pm
You don't have the right coil for the slingshot : AR-26-1200 is for the knocker, and AO-26-1200 for the slingshot. But I don't know the difference.
I'm pretty sure those are the same except for the type of coil sleeve used. In any case the coil labels in this game can't be trusted...
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by tinyrodent »

The wooden rails are in pretty good shape, and the metal guides look brand new, except for the trashed shooter lane guard. Luckily there are replacements available.
rails and guides.jpg
Playfield teardown complete. Removed from cabinet. Ready to wrap
ready to wrap.jpg
Is it safe to move the body? :D
dead body.jpg
There is quite a large collection of parts to clean, polish, and rebuild while the playfield is out for clearcoating.
playfield parts.jpg
First good look inside the cabinet. Dirty, but could be worse. I'll take advantage of the playfield being out to clean it up a bit.
inside cabinet.jpg
Playing: Stern Game of Thrones
Fixing: Bally Harlem Globetrotters, Bally Fathom, Williams Space Shuttle, Stern Metallica
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Re: Shop Log: 1981 Bally Fathom

Post by HPR Pinball »

Hey it’s a great and detailled shop log, like a lot!
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